Trucking and commercial vehicle accidents often result in serious injuries or deaths because of several factors, including the vehicles' size and weight, the high speeds at which trucks travel on highways, and the limited mobility and vision of these vehicles. Common causes of trucking accidents include:
- Driver fatigue
- Speeding or driving too fast for road conditions
- Inexperienced or improperly trained driver
- Reckless or aggressive driving
- Driver driving under the influence
- Oversized or overloaded vehicle
- Inadequate or poorly maintained safety equipment on vehicle
Trucks and other commercial vehicles driving on California and interstate highways are governed by California regulations and the strict Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, which specify how commercial vehicles should be maintained, driven, and loaded, and are intended to improve highway safety. However, accidents can result when drivers and employers fail to follow regulations such as maintenance standards, weight limitations, alcohol and drug testing requirements, and special driver training requirements. These regulations also require drivers and employers to keep detailed records such as fuel receipts, maintenance records, trip documentation, and drug and alcohol testing results. If an accident occurs involving a particular vehicle, it is critical to seek experienced legal counsel who is familiar with these very specific regulations and record-keeping requirements, and can ensure that evidence to prosecute your case is adequately preserved.
Potential Recovery for Victims
Victims of trucking accidents may potentially recover a wide variety of damages from both the driver and the driver's employer. There may be additional avenues of recovery based on the negligence of third party actors, such as the vehicle manufacturer or mechanic who performed maintenance or installation services.
The following cases are some examples of the past trucking cases involving tractor-trailers handled by Valdez & Valdez.
Auto vs. Tractor-Trailer
Background: This case involves a catastrophic vehicle collision between a passenger vehicle occupied by five young farm labor workers and a loaded semi-truck. All five young men were violently killed in the collision. Defendant Driver was driving the subject tractor/trailer westbound on Manning Avenue toward Interstate 5 and failed to stop at the "Stop" sign. Defendant Employer failed to investigate it's Drivers background before hiring him. Had the trucking companies done a proper investigation, it would have found out that Defendant Driver lied about his professional driving history and driving violations. The trucking companies failed to provide Defendant Driver a driving test before they hired him and they also failed to check out his driving record with the CA Department of Motor Vehicles. A Workers' Compensation claim was also filed against the plaintiff's employer. Settlement: $4 million.
Auto vs. Tractor-Trailer
(Wrongful Death/Personal Injury)
Background: Defendant Driver negligently and carelessly operated the tractor-trailer at an unsafe speed which prevented him from taking safe evasive action to avoid the collision. Defendant Driver was traveling (westbound) on S.R. 46 East in the county of San Luis Obispo, so as to violently collide with a passenger vehicle operated by Plaintiff. As a result, one passenger was killed and the remaining passenger farm labor workers suffered severe injuries. A Workers' Compensation claim was also filed against the plaintiff's employer. Settlement: Policy Limits.
Seek Experienced Attorneys
At the Law Offices of Valdez & Valdez, we are experienced in handling the specialized and complex issues involved in truck accident cases, and are experts in the area of personal injury law. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, contact us today at (559) 486-4070.